The NBA Slam Dunk contest didn’t disappoint when it came to creativity, but execution was what ultimately plagued what otherwise looked to be one of the better dunk contests in a while. But this year, we saw flair, some ridiculous athleticism, and huge entertainment value ala And 1 Mix-tape showmanship.
DeMar DeRozan pays homage to JR Rider’s East Bay Funk Dunk by having teammate Amir Johnson throw him an alley-oop off the side of the backboard, which DeRozan then jumped, corralled the ball, and put it through his legs and slammed it. Only problem is that it took him about 10 times to do it. He missed the first three attempts and it was all bad after that. Amir Johnson, at one point, threw a terrible pass. Another time, Amir Johnson forgot to throw the ball altogether.
Serge Ibaka, aka Air Congo, came out straight up “Coming to America” Zamunda-style! With cheerleaders in tow, carrying huge flags with “Africa” printed on them, Air Congo was definitely trying to get the fans behind him. Congo took flight on his first attempt doing his best Dr. J impression. The big man jumped from at the free throw line and made it! But he didn’t quite get the height of Dr. J and Michael Jordan.
JaVale McGee tried to dunk two basketball on TWO hoops set at 12 feet high! But like DeRozan, the amount of times it took him to complete the feat made it seem a little less spectacular.
Blake Griffin did what looked like a Vince Carter impression with a mini-tomahawk, 360 two handed cocked back slam. Surprisingly, his two missed attempts were actually more impressive than the one he made because he not only got higher but his jams were WAY more aggressive. Kenny Smith, his coach, did his best And 1 hype man which is needed when participants are bricking tons of attempts.